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  1. #1

    Default Final family holiday?


    Like many people on this forum I am planning an RV summer trip next year from the UK and have found this site useful with some good information, and like many, it seems quite a few are going to similar places having read the threads and links. I知 planning a 6 berth vehicle but here is the conundrum, do I do a circular or linear trip? I致e figured on a 14 night hire with a few days either side to go to Disney etc. There will be 5 of us, 3 kids and I知 guessing this will be the last family holiday before the eldest steps out on his own.

    I want to experience California, initial thoughts are flying into and out of San Diego from the UK, doing San Francisco, LA, Yosemite and Las Vegas and if possible go look at some cowboy and Indian stuff too!, which I guess will mean travelling to Utah or Arizona. Is this a bit of a tall order within that time scale?

    Of course, I want this to be right and appreciate that taking an RV into a city centre such as SF maybe challenging, can you park them in centre parking lots or leave them at the RV park and get shuttles into the centre? I have heard that getting an overnight stay in Yosemite is nigh on impossible, a bit tricky to drive in and out in a day given the size of it.

    I have thought of doing 4 -5 hour drives at the most per day, so I guess that will limit the square miles I can actually cover, look at the finer points of your fair country, eat, open a bottle of wine and sit back to chill. I知 going to research using the powers of reading what literature I can get hold of but some heads up information would be good for starters. I知 not expecting someone to write an itinery for me, but some good start points would be appreciated to make sure I can cram in the best within such a time scale.

    Anybody prepared to give me some pointers? This really is the initial stage of planning so and not tied to any specific times, durations, hire companies or places so it would be great to get a good start.

    Thanks in anticipation, Mark.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    A RV is a lifestyle choice, not necessarily an economical choice. Have you considered a car and hotels instead? RV's in large cities are a big hassle.

    A tip - whatever city you choose (and a circular trip would be the most economical way no matter which way you do it) you should plan on going between SF and LA in a southbound direction if you plan on taking the coast road. This will put the scenic pullouts on your side of the road.

  3. #3


    Hi, thanks for the quick response. Yes, we had thought of that but the idea of stopping in a camp site and sitting out appeals to us much more. I stay in hotels every week and it isn'ty what I want from a holiday. Funnily enough, we discussed that last night.

    Thanks, Mark.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Plenty of time for planning.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    With your 'wish list' of places to visit you are much better suited to a loop trip really. In this case you can start from any one of the City's on your route. Therefor, look at the cheapest place to start from with combined flight and RV rental costs by price comparing. It would seem your choices would be LA,SD, LV or SF.

    Starting in LA for example you could go LA>SD>Grand canyon>Zion NP [Utah] Las Vegas> Yosemite[via Death valley]> San Fran and back to LA. Travelling in this direction [rom anywhere] will put the Ocean on your side of the road when heading south down the coastal Highway. Other options along the way would include Hoover Dam, Monument valley, Antelope canyon and Bryce canyon to name a few.

    There are a limited number of RV parks around SF and a quick search will reveal them. [The names of them escape me] One in particular I know has a shuttle bus service downtown. If you were to start in SF, I would not pick up the RV untill the day you leave to begin the road trip. As this trip is for next summer you should have no problem getting an RV site in Yosemite. As with all major parks you will need to book as soon as the booking window opens, [literally] to secure a spot. It's well worth it, as it saves the time and hassel of driving in every day and you can catch the free shuttle buses around the parks and the leave the RV where it is. You can find all the info at on all parks and campgrounds within them.

    With 14 days you could cover all these places, but it would mean keeping on the move and you will have to sit down and discuss how long you plan to spend in any one place.

    A few years ago we made our first RV trip out of San Fran and loved every moment. If you have the time you might get a few ideas from our report found here. Camping in the National parks is truly amazing !

    You will find a lot more reading material throughout the forums, so have a little search around and as new questions crop up, just ask !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Three RV parks in San Francisco area, according to my (several year old) Good Sam atlas and confirmed with Google. San Francisco RV Park and Candlestick RV Park both use the same website, click here. The other is Marin RV. Years and years ago that was a parking lot with hookups, and from what I understand, it still is!

    I agree with the above recommendation -- don't get the RV until just before you leave SF.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default LA would be more logical

    If you are going to spend a few days either end of the RV trip at places like Disney, then flying into LA would seem more logical. You can pick up the RV after doing Disney when leaving LA, and drop it off, before you go to see the other attractions on your list, at the end.

    For the rest I have to agree with what is written above.


  7. #7


    Hello All and thanks to those who responded.

    Now at least I have some indication how and where to kick this trip off. I'd sort of figured that it would be pointless having a huge camper sat outside a motel while we did the Disney stuff, though I guess they have RV parks.

    Job for this week end is purchasing maps and a book to sort out the fundementals. Thanks to Southwest Dave for the loop suggestion, can I avoid D Valley? The company I am looking at for the hire do not prohibit going thru' it but is things go pear shaped I can't turn to them for help and all costs will be borne by me, which isn't very enticing. Hope the UK summer isn't causing you any problems down there.

    Yes, I have plenty of time for planning and this is precisely why I've started this early with the high costs for this holiday, it's gotta be spot on. What's the story if you decide you can't get to a camp site because it's too late and pull up somewhere, will you get the Boys in Blue knocking on your door at 03.00 or is it just not the done thing?

    Thanks, Mark.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default I would book NP campgrounds.

    Hope the UK summer isn't causing you any problems down there.
    Summer ?! That's long gone, we had 2 weeks in March. ;-) A few branches down [one huge one ner my house] in these gales still blowing, but not too bad. Thanks.

    can I avoid D Valley?
    Yes you can. You could head north out of Vegas on US95 to NV266/CA266/NV264/US6/CA120/US395/CA120 and into Yosemite NP over Tioga pass. [Not as complicated as it sounds]. If Vegas was not a must, or you visited on the way to the GC, then from Zion NP you could cut across to Tonopah via the ET highway. [See the route in the report I linked you too. It will be in reverse order.] A third option would be to head south around the mountains via Barstow and Bakersfield and perhaps visit Sequoia NP.

    What's the story if you decide you can't get to a camp site because it's too late and pull up somewhere, will you get the Boys in Blue knocking on your door at 03.00 or is it just not the done thing?
    Either that or worse still, an angry land owner ! As I mentioned previously, if you work your itinerary out I would book the NP campgrounds as soon as possible. They are in wonderful settings, will save driving and the hassel of getting in and out of the parks which could save a couple of hours driving or more. If you don't want to be tied down that's fine, but a lot of your 4-5 hours of driving per day could be eaten up driving around looking for campgrounds and in and out of parks. Most parks have free shuttle buses, so once parked up you can have a day or 2 with no driving and relax. Remember these places are HUGE !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    In a pinch, you can park a RV overnight in a truck stop, with permission. It would be courteous to give them some business in return, such as buy a tank of fuel.

  10. #10


    No, I think Dave's right. Book the sites ahead and use that type of lay over in the case of emergencies. After all, it would look rather odd BBQ ing on a forecourt.

    I'll check out the maps and when I have some specifics come back to you. You've been most helpful. Thanks.

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